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Footwear Terms Glossary

There are so many different terms when it comes to work shoes and work boots. From the technology used to make the footwear to the type of toe that the footwear has, it can get a bit confusing. We are here to help. Click through these footwear terms and stop all that confusion!

  • 3M® Scotchgard ™ Protector

    This will protect your leather work footwear by making it oil- and water-resistant. It helps to make your footwear easy to clean up after a day on the job.  (back to top)
  • Abrasion-Resistant Rubber

    Abrasion-resistant rubber will help increase the wear time of footwear.  (back to top)
  • Abzorb

    Abzorb is a comfort material that provides shock absorption and resists compression set by retaining up to 95% of its initial shape.  (back to top)
  • Active Heel Lock

    Active Heel Lock is a system that helps to keep the heel secure and won’t let it slip out of place, so the person wearing it will stay safe and will stay feeling secure the entire workday long.  (back to top)
  • Aegis

    An anti-microbial finish found in a footbed or lining that minimizes odor and reduces possible infection from fungus.  (back to top)
  • Aeromesh

    Aeromesh is a knitted fabric of open texture with evenly spaced holes.  (back to top)
  • Aeromet

    Aeromet by Weinbrenner (patent pending) is a revolutionary concept in internal metatarsal protection. Aeromet cushions the instep under a series of air bags and other shock-absorbing materials to provide maximum comfort, as well as protection in excess of ANSI Z41 MT/75 standards. Upon impact, the Aeromet system helps deflect and disperse the blow into hundreds of air chambers which help to protect and cushion the instep.  (back to top)
  • Agion® Antimicrobial Treatment

    Timberland uses this in their footwear to help keep odor away and also helps to keep the feet dry. When you work hard, your feet will sweat, but if this treatment is part of your work footwear, you won’t have to worry about that anymore.  (back to top)
  • Alloy Safety Toe

    An alloy safety toe is comparable to a protective steel toe when it comes to safety, but it is lighter and allows for the toes to have more room while in the footwear.  (back to top)
  • Anti-Fatigue Technology

    Anti-Fatigue Technology is a technology to keep the feet from running out of energy before the work day is over. It helps to absorb shock and returns energy to the foot in order to keep the footwear stay comfortable throughout the entire day.  (back to top)
  • Boar Hide Leather

    This material is naturally water-resistant, produced at a lighter weight, and is more abrasion-resistant than cowhide.  (back to top)
  • C-Cap

    Provides lightweight cushioning and flexibility.  (back to top)
  • Cambrelle

    Cambrelle is made of mesh bicomponent fibers. It allows the lining to conform to the constant motions of the foot to prevent chafing while also providing high levels of abrasion resistance. It is designed to move moisture away from skin for a drying effect and reduction of friction.  (back to top)
  • Cement Construction

    In this rugged construction, the upper is shaped around the bottom of the last, rather than flared out, and then is cemented to the combined midsole/outsole unit. This process helps cut weight and provides a narrower profile for the boot.  (back to top)
  • Cobalt

    Cobalt is a technology designed by Ariat to help make the shoe or boot as comfortable as possible. This technology helps to absorb any impact made at the heel and helps to return energy to the foot.  (back to top)
  • Comfort Core

    A type of insole by Georgia Boot that uses thick return cushions to collect energy and add spring when you lift your foot. It features a unique airflow system containing tiny air holes that force air through the insole as you walk.  (back to top)
  • Composite Toe

    Composite Toe Boots and Shoes are rated ANSI Z41 PT91 I/75 C/75. Composite toe boots protect feet where non-metallic footwear is required. Composite toe footwear must be replaced after being involved in any footwear-related accident.  (back to top)
  • Crazy Horse Leather

    A type of leather that has oil applied under pressure at high temperature to achieve a rugged finish. It is water-resistant for about 2 hours. If you're into this, we carry some Crazy Horse footwear by Carolina Boots and in a Western style, by Double-H Boots.  (back to top)
  • CR-Foam

    CR-Foam acts as an insulator or "neutral medium" for conducting hot and cold external temperatures. It will not crack. CR-Foam is a super dense material, but is lightweight, flexible, and buoyant.  (back to top)
  • CrossTech

    This unique footwear fabric, from the makers of Gore-Tex® fabric, delivers the best liquid penetration resistance against blood and body fluids as well as superior waterproof, breathable performance.  (back to top)
  • Cushmesh Lining

    A cushioned lining designed to add comfort through an additional layer of padding as well as managing the internal environment of the footwear to keep you more comfortable.  (back to top)
  • DBL

    DBL outsoles are up to 50% lighter than traditional materials. DBL is a natural brilliant white without using the whitening chemicals that weaken the outsole and make it more brittle. The purity results in: no fading or streaking for the life of the shoe, resistance to stains and chipping, and an increased softness and flexibility.  (back to top)
  • Direct Attach Construction

    Direct Attach Construction bonds the outsole directly to the show to add flexibility and durability.  (back to top)
  • Dri-Lex

    Has excellent abrasion resistance and is the only knit lining in the world approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. It was made to be a step above Cambrelle in quality and uses a special hydrophilic nylon moisture control fiber to wick away moisture. This lining is found in many of our top brand items, including Wolverine Boots and Shoes.  (back to top)
  • Dual Density TPU

    This outsole by Ariat is made with thermoplastic polyurethane to make it slip, heat, and oil resistant. It also provides excellent comfort with cushioning and flexibility. This outsole is non-marking, so this outsole won’t leave any scuffs behind.  (back to top)
  • Dual Pro

    Dual Pro is a leather outsole that is injected with rubber at certain points to enhance grip, comfort, and durability of the sole. Wearing work footwear with this outsole will help you stay on your feet and feel safe and comfortable while doing so.  (back to top)
  • Duck Down Insulation

    Duck Down Insulation is an insulation that uses duck down in order to make the clothing warm without the heavy feeling that some insulation can cause.  (back to top)
  • Durashocks

    A Wolverine brand name for their lightweight dual-density construction that weighs one third as much as rubber, yet absorbs four times the force. Both Wolverine Boots and Bates Boots utilize this technology.  (back to top)
  • Duratread

    Duratread is a rubber outsole that is flexible and resistant to oil, slips, and acids. Wearing footwear with Duratread helps to keep you safe from any spills that you might have to contend with throughout your work day.  (back to top)
  • Encap

    This is a polyurethane rim with C-Cap core. It works to disperses the shock of impact to provide stability while maintaining cushioning and comfort.  (back to top)
  • Endurance XStatic Outsole

    Static Dissipative and built with a micro-compact molecular structure that produces a tighter bond and a denser, more durable slip-resistant sole that will not mark.  (back to top)
  • ETC

    This material is superior at reducing friction, which in turn prevents heat that causes moisture, leaving your feet cool and dry.  (back to top)
  • EVA Midsole

    An EVA midsole is a midsole that makes the work footwear feel as if a person is wearing the most comfortable of athletic shoes.  (back to top)
  • Everlon

    Everlon is an outsole made by Ariat that combines EVA cushioning with the properties of wear-resistant blown rubber. Footwear with this outsole will last long and stay comfortable just as long.  (back to top)
  • Evolution

    Evolution is an outsole created by Ariat. It is made to look and perform like leather, but is actually made of rubber. This outsole will hold up to rough weather and look wonderful at the same time. Mixing the best of both worlds, these rubber outsoles keep you on your feet.  (back to top)
  • Expanded Rubber

    Expanded rubber offers a high degree of compressibility and displays fast recovery upon release from compression because air can pass freely between its cells.  (back to top)
  • Fiberglass Shank

    A fiberglass shank is best for someone who wears their work boots for hours of the day. It gives the arch amazing support and the feet will feel less tired.  (back to top)
  • Full-Grain Leather

    This is a leather that comes from the top of the skin, or epidermis level, where fibers are tighter together and therefore stronger. The outer layer is printed or smoothly finished. It is breathable and water resistant (2 hours) and bears a high abrasion resistance (hard-wearing). Full-grain leather may require a break-in period.  (back to top)
  • Goodyear/Leather Welt

    A Goodyear welt stitches the upper fabric, lining, and sole together, creating a single unit for added durability. A welt (ribbon of leather or rubber) is stitched to the boot upper, insole, and lining in one operation. Then the outsole is stitched to the bottom of the welt. The outsole is wider than the boot, and stitching is apparent. Goodyear Welt boots are extremely tough. They provide excellent traction and the best lateral stability of all boots. The soles are easier to repair. However, Goodyear Welt technology creates heavier, less flexible footwear.  (back to top)
  • Gore-Tex

    State-of-the-art Gore-Tex® fabric linings offer the highest performance in durable, waterproof, breathable footwear technology. GORE-TEX® has over 9 billion holes per square inch that prevents water from getting to your feet while allowing sweat vapor to pass right through keeping your feet dry and comfortable in all conditions.  (back to top)
  • Heel-To-Toe Rocker Sole

    This sole will make the workday go by much more smoothly. It reduces the stress that is put on the forefront of the foot and by doing so making the footwear more comfortable.  (back to top)
  • ICS

    The Individual Comfort System is made by Bates. It is part of the midsole that can be adjusted to four different comfort needs. The wearer can control the comfort to suit their needs.  (back to top)
  • iTechnology

    ITechnology is an outsole technology developed and used by CAT. It is constructed for maximum comfort. A worker can work a twelve hour day and still be comfortable when this technology is in their footwear.  (back to top)
  • iTechnology Super Duty

    This technology by CAT takes the iTechnology to the next level. This has everything offered by the regular iTechnology, plus the addition of a 90 degree heel that has ladder lock, so the wearer will be able to climb ladders in comfort while being protected.  (back to top)
  • Kangaroo Leather

    This type of leather offers a combination of armor-like toughness and light weight. (Its fibers grow in a cross-hatch pattern, which provides this strength.)  (back to top)
  • Logger Sole

    Logger soles have has angled to provide substantial edging capabilities. Center medallion of traditional carrarmato lugs provide maximum traction. A straight cut heel has paired lugs for stability. You can find Logger Boots here at WPS by brands such as Chippewa Boots and Gearbox Boots.  (back to top)
  • Metal Mounts

    Metal Mounts are made for motorcyclists by Ariat to help them ride longer without getting fatigued. The rider will be able to have their boots rest comfortably on the peg rests.  (back to top)
  • Monaco

    Monaco is a performance outsole made specifically for riders by Ariat. This outsole will help keep the rider on their feet with added traction.  (back to top)
  • Nylon Diffusion Shank

    Timberland’s Nylon Diffusion Shank will keep the arch of the wearers foot supported and will help give the foot better torsional rigidity.  (back to top)
  • Olefin (Polypropylene)

    A superior moisture repellent fiber that won't accept moisture. It is used alone or with absorbent outer layers that work together to wick moisture away from your body. It is very strong and has the lowest specific gravity (lightest) of any synthetic fiber.  (back to top)
  • Opanka

    Opanka is an old European way of making footwear. It is all hand sewn, attaching the upper, the sole, and the sock lining at one time with double needle stitching. This creates the flexibility of an unconstructed moccasin.  (back to top)
  • OrthoLite

    OrthoLite is an open cell polyurethane base foam. The unique open cell structure of OrthoLite enables air to travel through and around the insole creating a cooler environment inside the shoe and aiding in moisture transport. It includes a patented biocide to fight fungus and bacteria. It can be washed without losing it's biocidal properties.  (back to top)
  • Polycarbonate Eyelets

    Metal eyelets on work shoes and boots can set off metal detectors and make it hard for travel. The polycarbonate eyelets are non-metallic and will make travel much easier.  (back to top)
  • Polyurethane Midsole

    A Polyurethane Midsole will provide the wearer with comfort and cushioning that is needed during a long workday. Have this midsole in your work boots and stay comfortable all day.  (back to top)
  • Pro Crepe™

    Pro Crepe™ is an outsole from Ariat made to give the best and long-lasting cushioning around. This outsole is extremely lightweight and with Duratread added, it resists slips and stays durable.  (back to top)
  • Pro Crepe™ Light

    This outsole by Ariat is just like the Pro Crepe™, but it is 30% lighter than the original. It has all the benefits of the Pro Crepe ™, along with a slimmer design.  (back to top)
  • SafeGrip™ Slip-Resistant Outsole

    This outsole made by Timberland is perfect for the worker who has to work in wet conditions. It will give the wearer maximum grip in any condition that the shoe or boot is being worn.  (back to top)
  • Sized Sock

    A sock knit to a number of specific sizes (not size ranges) that correlates (although not directly) with a persons shoe size. They will be sized by number, ranging from size 8 to 15.  (back to top)
  • Slip-Resistant Polyurethane Outsole

    Molded with a polyurethane unit, this outsole is made to keep the wearer on their feet in any conditions that they are presented with. This outsole will keep you safe, regardless of your working conditions.  (back to top)
  • Steel-Flex® Puncture-Resistant Plate

    This puncture resistant plate will keep you safe from anything that might try to get through your work boots or shoes. Keep sharp objects away from you feet with the Steel-Flex® Puncture-Resistant Plate.  (back to top)
  • Stitchdown Construction

    Stitchdown construction provides a wider platform for increased stability. Boots constructed under this method can be re-soled, adding years of life. First, the upper is shaped to conform to the last, then flared out and cemented to the midsole. Then the upper and midsole are stitched together with heavy, interlocking thread to create an even more secure attachment. Finally, the outsole is cemented to the midsole upper unit.  (back to top)
  • Stitch Out Construction

    Stitch out construction is a flexible welt that is easy to resole. By getting boots or shoes with this construction, you will give them a longer lasting wear time.  (back to top)
  • SRX Industrial

    SRX Industrial is a technology from CAT. It will provide the ultimate slip-resistance while on the jobsite, which means you will be protected no matter your working conditions.  (back to top)
  • Taibrelle

    Taibrelle is an abrasion-resistant fabric lining that offers excellent moisture-wicking capabilities with its rapid moisture release technology. The result is superior comfort.  (back to top)
  • TechniFlex

    TechniFlex is an insole technology created by CAT to give the footwear the best flexibility that an insole can give. Wearing footwear with this technology will give the wearer the comfort that every worker wants and needs.  (back to top)
  • Texon®

    The material is manufactured from 100% polyester fibers, needled and fusion-bonded together to provide a light but strong material. Texon® is heat resistant and therefore suitable for use in all shoe making conditions. It is permeable to air and moisture, making it an excellent environment for foot health and comfort. It also has good abrasion resistance and can be used without a sock lining.  (back to top)
  • Timberland PRO® Rubber

    Timberland PRO Rubber is used in Timberland Pro boot outsoles and is a special compound that will avoid any slipping and will also avoid abrasions. This outsole is great for all surfaces.  (back to top)
  • TiTAN® Fit

    This is a technology to make the fit of TiTAN® footwear more comfortable and to give the wearer more room. It is made of lightweight materials, so not only does this technology make for more comfortable footwear, but also helps to make the footwear lighter.  (back to top)
  • TPR

    This is a lightweight outsole. It is flexible and helps to keep your feet cushioned. They are also wear-resistant, which helps for longer lasting footwear.  (back to top)
  • Toughstock™ Leather

    Toughstock Leather is a leather that is used in Ariat’s own handcrafted outsole. It holds up to all weather conditions and is made with a Duratread heel to prevent slips.  (back to top)
  • U-Turn Entry System™

    The U-Turn Entry System™ from Ariat makes it easier to get into a work boot by using a flexible gore panel; making it easier to get in and out of the boots. This system works for all different shapes and sizes of feet.  (back to top)
  • Vibram® Static Dissapative Outsole

    This Vibram® outsole is made to protect the wearer from any static build up around them. If a person works in a heavy static environment, wearing work shoes or boots that have this outsole will keep them protected.  (back to top)
  • Waterproof Leather

    This leather will cause any moisture to bead up and slide right off the boots, so your feet will stay dry the entire workday long. It is full-grain and polishable too.  (back to top)
  • Waterproof Pro™

    Waterproof Pro™ is a technology to protect you and your boots from all wet weather conditions. It is made from premium waterproof leather.  (back to top)
  • Wolverine Warrior Leather

    This leather is treated with Scotchgard which protects against stains from dirt, oil, gas, and other fluids without affecting the texture, color, or breathability of the footwear. That means that your footwear will stay looking great even longer and keep your feet protected.  (back to top)
  • Athletech

    A Nautilus footwear system combining a removable sockliner and a midsole, both made of polyurethane, to reduce impact and stress on the foot. This design offers unparalleled cushioning and shock absorption, reducing impact and stress on the foot, leg, and back areas by dissipating shock which would otherwise contribute to neck, back, foot, and leg injuries.  (back to top)
  • Compressor

    "Wolverine is taking comfort one step further to create the world's most comfortable boots and shoes with the Compressor comfort system. Guaranteed. The comfort begins with the Wolverine Durashocks® insole that features two polymer pads connected by a unique transfer bridge to cushion the full foot.Under the insole is the first layer of the two-piece compression system with built in shank for added stability. The second layer contains compression chambers embedded in the midsole to absorb 50% more shock and return 30% more energy in every step. Direct attach midsole bonds with the Wolverine Durashocks® TPU outsole for flexibility, long wearing performance, and comfort."  (back to top)
  • Crew Length Socks

    Socks that extend beyond the ankles, but not beyond the largest part of the calves. These socks are typically 9 to 12 inches in length.  (back to top)
  • Interlock Outsole

    This unique outsole (patent pending) is the most slip-resistant outsole on the market. Designed with a series of hexagonal shaped lugs that form an interlocking pattern, the evenly spaced hex-lugs offer a unique design that creates "flow" channels. These unobstructed channels direct liquid away from the lugs allowing for more surface contact. The result, instead of a hydroplaning effect of a regular flat outsole, the Interlock outsole grips more floor surface for greater effectiveness. It's used by Nautilus and Skidbuster brands.  (back to top)
  • Kevlar

    5 times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, yet, at the same time, it's lightweight, flexible and comfortable. It is seen in many of our Welding Gloves.  (back to top)
  • Maxum Lite Outsole

    Shock absorbing relief on the most unforgiving concrete and tile surfaces. The blown urethane process traps muscle-saving, fatigue-beating air within every sole. Maxum urethane grabs tight and holds on in wet or slippery environments. Internal components give this sole an ESD rating that meets ANSI Z41 requirements.  (back to top)
  • Neoprene

    A synthetic rubber material designed to act flexibly, durably, and to resist breakdown by water. It is form fitting and resilient. Because air and water become isolated in its unique molecular structure, Neoprene is temperately stable which makes products made from this material waterproof and breathable. It resists degradation from sun, ozone, and weather and is useful over a wide temperature range.  (back to top)
  • Over-the-Calf Socks

    A sock that extends above the largest part of the calf. Typically 15" or longer.  (back to top)
  • Ped

    A Ped is a short length sock that falls below the ankle bone.  (back to top)
  • Poromeric

    A manmade material that maintains a high glossy shine. There are a number of shoes with this feature by Thorogood Boots on our site.  (back to top)
  • Poron®

    These performance urethanes offer superior comfort and performance for the life of work boots. The open-cell breathable material wicks away moisture and keeps the foot cool. They also offer excellent resistance to compression, outstanding shock absorption, and long-lasting lightweight cushioning. Plus, anit-microbial and bacterial protection stops growth of odor-causing bacteria.  (back to top)
  • Quarter Length Socks

    A short crew sock, similar in length to a mid-crew sock. Typically 6" to 9" in length.  (back to top)
  • Rollbar®

    A lightweight flat or molded piece of graphite material biomechanically positioned in the midsole which maximizes rear foot stability. Rollbar® can be combined with a TPU medial and or lateral post for motion control.  (back to top)
  • Metatarsal Boots

    Footwear designed to protect your toes and metatarsals, which are long, convex bones in the middle of the foot that create the foot's arch. Most commonly warn by construction workers and minors.  (back to top)
  • Wolverine SEMC®

    Wolverine SEMC® safety-toes are rated ANSI Z41 PT99 I/75 and CAN/CSA Z195 - M92 Grade 1. Boots and shoes with SEMC® safety-toes protect feet where non-metallic footwear is required. SEMC® safety-toes are 30% lighter than steel toes. Safety footwear that is damaged or involved in any accident may fail to provide future protection and must be replaced.  (back to top)
  • Soiled Footwear/Clothing

    Soiled footwear includes, but is not limited to, cotton from a sock ground in the lining of footwear, any signs of wear on the sole, or scuffs on the leather of the upper. Soiled footwear or clothing includes the presence of any animal hair, dust, debris, or odor. Any item of clothing that was washed is also considered soiled. In other words, if the footwear or clothing looks or smells used or worn it is considered soiled.  (back to top)
  • Sympatex®

    The unique, non-porous construction creates an absolute wall against wetness. And through the wonders of physics and chemistry, that same impenetrable water barrier actually transports perspiration, so feet can breathe too. Sympatex® offers superior fit. It can be stretched up to 300%, so you can imagine how easily it accommodates your feet, even under high performance situations that put a lot of stress on you and your footwear. Sympatex® is tough too, with up to seven times the mechanical strength of other waterproof materials. There's no way for dirt and grease to get in and clog things up because there aren't any pores.  (back to top)
  • TC Tech Plate

    This component is an integrated piece of nylon designed with a solid instep area for multi-directional strength and a series of "fingers" that extend toward the ball of the foot to allow flexibility.  (back to top)
  • Thermax®

    Hollow core fibers prevent heat loss by trapping a layer of warm air around the foot while transporting perspiration to the outer layer of moisture absorbing fabric. These fibers offer great softness and wicking ability.  (back to top)
  • Thinsulate

    "What makes Thinsulate insulation so important to a cold-weather boot? Three words: thin, warm, light.Thinness, of course, is crucial in a boot insulation. There is simply no room for anything bulky. And what better place to look for thin than the insulation that started it all: Thinsulate insulation. The same goes for warmth. Feet, being furthest from your body's center of heat, need insulation more than any other part of your body. With nearly twice the warmth of foam, felt or pile, Thinsulate insulation is just what feet need to stay warm and comfortable. Which brings up the third big benefit of Thinsulate insulation: It doesn't bog boots down with weight. In fact, it's one of the lightest synthetic insulations on the market. Boots are a unique part of the outdoor wardrobe because of the pounding they take. Each step exerts tremendous pressure on every boot component. But this harsh treatment is especially hard on insulation, which can become compacted. And since all insulations work by trapping microscopic pockets of air in their fibers, compacted insulations lose their effectiveness. The qualities that make Thinsulate insulation ideal for boots are its compression resistance and durability. It can take a beating and still retain those little pockets of air so important for keeping feet warm. For years, many outdoor enthusiasts have chosen Thinsulate insulation over foam and felt based on one characteristic alone: its ability to retain warmth when wet. Thinsulate insulation absorbs less than 1% of its weight in water, so it keeps feet warm even in damp conditions.

    The following are recommended gram weights for Footwear:

    • 200 gram* Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for Footwear is recommended for cool conditions or for high activity levels where wearer generates/builds a lot of body heat through activity.

    • 400 gram* Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for Footwear is recommended for cold conditions or for moderate activity levels where wearer generates/builds a normal amount of body heat through activity.

    • 600 gram* Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for Footwear is recommended for very cold conditions or for very light activity levels where wearer generates/builds little body heat through activity.

    • 800 gram* Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for Footwear is recommended for extremely cold conditions or for extremely light activity levels where wearer generates/builds minimal body heat through activity.

    • 1,000 gram* Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for Footwear is recommended for unique applications requiring additional insulation.

    * Grams per square meter of insulation." 0 2/8/12 20:09 2/8/12 20:09  (back to top)
  • Tru-Trak®

    A Dunham exclusive. Multi-directional tread provides superior outsole traction through surface contact to keep the wearer on his/her feet.  (back to top)
  • Wigwam Relative Warmth Rating

    "(1=coolest; 100=warmest)

    • 90-99: For Frigid weather

    • 80-89: For Cold weather

    • 70-79: For Cool weather

    The Warmth ratings represent only a comparative warmth between Wigwam's boot socks, based on their ability to hold heat and keep your feet warm.  (back to top)
  • Wonder-Wick

    The Wonder~Wick® Moisture Control System was developed by Wigwam Mills, Inc. to keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable. A moisture-repelling yarn next to the skin wicks the perspiration away from the foot. A moisture-absorbing fiber on the outside of the sock works with the inner fiber to ensure that the moisture stays away from the foot. A dry foot is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The lack of moisture next to the foot is also instrumental in minimizing blisters.  (back to top)
  • Action Leather

    Action Leather is split leather finished with a polyurethane coating.

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  • Air Bob Soles

    Air Bob Soles are dotted with rounded knobs which have hollow cores. These "bobs" flex when contacting hard surfaces. Each bob acts as an independent claw, gripping where it contacts the ground. Air bob outsoles are good in rocks and dry dirt, and they are self-cleaning. The rounded design and amount of space between bobs discourages mud buildups.

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  • Air Cushion Midsoles

    Air Cushion Midsoles are a feature provided by Merrell Shoes, has an air chamber for shock absorption. It also creates a pronounced heel cup, which keeps the heel centered in the boot and helps stabilize the foot.  (back to top)
  • Airthotic

    An Airthotic is a half-length, molded, perforated polyurethane instep that cups the heel and supports the arch area of the foot. It is more rigid than a foam footbed, which means better comfort.  (back to top)
  • Aniline Leather

    Noted for its soft, natural feel, Aniline Leather has no color coating added to its surface. This allows for the leather to breathe easier.  (back to top)
  • Athletic Soles

    Athletic Soles have omni-directional shallow lugs. They provide a shallow grip and are light weight. They are not self-cleaning, this means they will pick up mud, adding to their weight and decreasing grip.

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  • Bar Tacks

    Bar tacks are very short thread reinforcements for stress points.  (back to top)
  • Bellows Tongue

    Bellows Tongue is a broad folding tongue stitched to the shoe quarter on either side. It's used to prevent water and snow from penetrating to the foot at the front opening of the shoe.  (back to top)
  • Black Odessa

    Black Odessa is a 5 to 5.5 oz leather that is heavily oiled in the tanning process. It's black in color and has a high oil content.  (back to top)
  • Blucher

    Blucher is a shoe where the tongue and vamp are one piece. The quarters are draped over the vamp and laced together.  (back to top)
  • Buz Sole

    A Buz Sole has a barrel edge with no visible cleats in profile.  (back to top)
  • Tread Pattern

    The tread pattern is either aggressive or smooth/minimal and helps create traction and stability.  (back to top)
  • Chrome-Tanned Leather

    Chrome-Tanned Leather tends to be a blue-green color and is softer and stretchier than vegetable-tanned leather. It is very stable and durable while used in water. However, it does not resist perspiration or organic acids well.  (back to top)
  • Cinch Hooks

    Cinch Hooks are similar to standard hooks, but they are narrower in the notch. When a lace is pulled tight through a cinch hook, the hook will hold it securely until a knot is tied. Cinch hooks are frequently used at the flex notch (where the boot is designed to bend). This allows someone lacing boots to keep tension in the lower eyelets or rings while the upper part of the boot is laced.  (back to top)
  • D-rings

    D-rings allow laces to pass through easily, which provides speed in lacing. Also, since D-rings put no tension on the laces, one pull will tighten or loosen several junctions simultaneously. However, D-rings won't hold tension on laces once they're tightened. For this reason, D-rings are typically used in combination with eyelets or cinch hooks to offer both lacing speed and a strong grip.  (back to top)
  • Drill Vamp Lining

    Drill Vamp Lining refers to the type of material that is used in the vamp lining. It is a cotton type material that is used in basic footwear that pulls moisture away from the foot. It is not insulation, but is a moisture-wicking lining.  (back to top)
  • Dual Resistor ESD

    Dual Resistor ESD is technology that provides an accurate and precise method of dissipating static electricity. These Dual Resistors work in conjunction with the construction of the footwear to maintain the resistance in the area of 1 to 5 megohms. DR technology means that if one of the two resistors fails, the electrical current will continue to flow into the grounding path to dissipate the electrostatic charges.  (back to top)
  • Durapontex

    Durapontex is a modified EVA foam promoted as more durable and softer than regular EVA. It is also anti-bacterial which helps to keep odors away.  (back to top)
  • Foxing

    Foxing happens when any component applied or molded at the sole overlaps the upper; a piece of material such as leather applied as a trim or reinforcement on the upper of a shoe. It's often found as a band of rubber on canvas sneakers.  (back to top)
  • GumLite

    GumLite is a micro-cellular, synthetic compound used for Vibram soles. It combines slip-resistance with the long-wearing characteristics of rubber, yet is half the weight. Vibram Gumlite maintains its physical properties and slip-resisting characteristics in cold weather, so it is wonderful for winter.  (back to top)
  • Heel Counter

    Heel Counter refers to a contoured cup that centers and holds the heel in the back of the boot.  (back to top)
  • Heel Strike

    Heel Strike occurs when the heel establishes friction and initiates your body's sense of stability through ground contact. This occurs at a 20° angle and can generate a force equal to 2-5 times your bodyweight.  (back to top)
  • Hollofil

    Hollofil is a high-loft polyester insulation with hollow fibers.  (back to top)
  • Hooks

    Hooks are the fastest lacing system, but they are the least secure. If the laces loosen while the boots are worn, they may work out of a hook, and the boots will become unlaced. The strongest hooks (and more costly) are machined; stamped hooks are weaker and less expensive. Also, the best attachment system is with small steel washers to hold hooks in place.  (back to top)
  • Hud

    Hud is a thick, heavily cleated industrial sole.  (back to top)
  • Industrial Bear

    Industrial Bear is a heavy milled, oiled full-grain leather.  (back to top)
  • Lineman Sole by Vibram

    Lineman Sole by Vibram has a straight cut heel to climb ladders and spikes. There's also a diamond pattern for stability and traction. This sole was also designed to prevent tracking dirt into homes by outdoor workers. Sometimes called an Austin sole.  (back to top)
  • Lug

    A Lug is a hard rubber cleat with a sharp outside edge for digging or wedging into hard surfaces such as rocks, dry dirt or clay. Their drawback is that, since the lugs are deep and closely spaced, mud packs around them and is difficult to get out.  (back to top)
  • Ninety Degree Heel

    A Ninety Degree Heel is a feature some companies require as a safety requirement. This is of particular interest to companies that have employees climbing: railroad, utility companies, elevator repair, and the like. It can be argued that a 90 degree heel will fit into a rung better to help prevent slipping of the rung. An additional requirement that often accompanies the 90 degree heel is that the heel be at least 1inch in height.  (back to top)
  • Nitrile Rubber

    Nitrile Rubber is a general purpose material resistant to a large variety of oils and greases. It can withstand higher temperatures than regular rubber which can be a great thing for people working around high temps.  (back to top)
  • Nubuck

    Nubuck is an "effect" that is done to the grain side of leather making it incredibly soft. The brushing also makes the leather even more absorbent than Aniline Leathers. It is often mistaken for suede, but is stronger. Aquaseal makes a nice conditioner for Nubuck that adds waterproofing.  (back to top)
  • Oil Tanning

    Oil Tanning makes the leather soft and flexible. It's also called the "chamoise" method and was used by Native Americans for their prized buckskin clothes.  (back to top)
  • Oxford

    Oxford refers to a style of leather shoe. Oxford shoes are traditionally constructed of heavy leather and were historically rather plain, often made of untanned leather. The design of the shoe is often plain, but may include some small ornamentation or perforations.  (back to top)
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  • Process 82

    Process 82 involves stitching a leather upper to a welt and stretching it over a heated bronze form. Then a pure rubber outsole is molded directly to the leather. Thus, the welt and vulcanized bottom become one. This process is inexpensive and the result is one of the most durable construction processes. Disadvantages include slightly higher weight and the inability to waterproof these boots without using a waterproof membrane bootie. On soles, it is more durable than rubber, though less slip- and heat-resistant. PU has a smooth rubbery feel and a tendency to turn yellow with age.  (back to top)
  • Phylite

    Phylite is an injection-molded unit made of a combination of 60% Phylon and 40% rubber. Phylite is lighter than rubber, but heavier than Phylon and functions as both midsole and outsole. By eliminating a separate midsole and outsole the weight of the shoes is greatly reduced and flexibility is increased.  (back to top)
  • Phylon

    Phylon is very lightweight, low-profile, and responsive. Phylon is made of EVA foam pellets that are compressed, heat-expanded, and then cooled in a mold. Compression-molded Phylon midsoles can be sculpted into a variety of designs that are identified by their fine wrinkles.  (back to top)
  • Aglet

    The Aglet is a plastic sheath at the end of a shoelace. It makes the lace easier to thread through the eyelet holes of work shoes and work boots.  (back to top)
  • Apron Toe

    The Apron Toe is characterized by a large overlay that covers the front of the toe and has visible edges or stitching.  (back to top)
  • Arch

    The arch is the high, curved part of the sole (bottom) of the foot, located between the ball and the heel of the foot.  (back to top)
  • Ball

    The ball of the foot is the padded area between the big toe and the arch of the foot.  (back to top)
  • Boot Heel

    The boot heel is a wide, stable type of heel that is not very high.  (back to top)
  • Bottoming

    Bottoming is the process of attaching the Sole to the Upper. The basic methods of sole attachment include cementing, molding/vulcanizing, and sewing.  (back to top)
  • Break

    The break is the natural crease created across the vamp of the shoe from wearing the footwear on a daily basis.  (back to top)
  • Buckle

    The buckle is a clasp at the end of a length of fabric or leather that joins one end of the material to the other on a pair of work boots or shoes.  (back to top)
  • Burnish

    Burnishing is the process of buffing a shoe or boot surface to achieve an antiquing effect of the leather.  (back to top)
  • Cap Toe

    A cap toe is a type of toe style with a full toe overlay and a straight stitching line across the top part of the toe.  (back to top)
  • Eyelet

    The laces of the footwear go through the eyelet, or a hole in the show that is often reinforced with a metal ring or grommet.  (back to top)
  • Footbed

    The footbed is the insole of the shoe, where the foot rests. The footbed is often removable and provides comfort and insulation.  (back to top)
  • Forefoot

    The forefoot is the area of the foot between the balls and toes of the feet.  (back to top)
  • Gore

    The gore of the footwear is an elastic panel stitched into either side of the footwear’s vamp in order to make it more comfortable and easier to put on and take off.  (back to top)
  • Injection Molded Construction

    In order to mass-produce footwear, injection molded construction is used. It is a sole construction created by injecting melted PVC or a similar material into the sole mold.  (back to top)
  • Insole

    The insole is usually cancelled and is the part of the footwear that the foot rests upon.  (back to top)
  • Instep

    The instep is the area that the foot rests upon and is usually cushioned for comfort.  (back to top)
  • Last

    A last is a wood, metal, or plastic form that is used to create the shape of the footwear.  (back to top)
  • Mid-Sole

    The midsole helps to cushion the foot between the upper and the outsole of the shoe. It also helps to absorb any shock that the foot encounters.  (back to top)
  • Moc Toe

    Originally made for moccasins, the moc toe is designed with a seam and stitching details.  (back to top)
  • Outsole

    The outsole is the very bottom of the shoe; the part that touches the ground as a person walks.  (back to top)
  • Overlay

    Overlay helps to give the shoe more detail by laying material on top of other material.  (back to top)
  • Perforation

    Perforation are small holes that are bored or punched into the trim of the shoe for either ventilation or style.  (back to top)
  • Shank

    The shank adds support to work shoes or boots. It is a strip or a plate in the shoe that is made of various materials.  (back to top)
  • Vamp

    The vamp is the front, center part of the upper of a work shoe or boot.  (back to top)
  • Cemmenting

    A sole that has been attached to the shoe by an adhesive is called cementing. It is the fastest and most common method used. Cementing mostly occurs in shoes that are casual and have rubber soles, such as athletic shoes,  (back to top)
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